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Coverage of the FOTON M3 launch tomorrow



 The launch of the Foton M3 tomorrow by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur will be 
carried live on the internet by this site:

http://www.viewontv.com/esa/2007-09_foton-m3/

The ESA website has these details of this mission:

+++++++++++++++++++
An unmanned Foton-M3 capsule, carrying a payload of around 40 European 
experiments, will launch onboard a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, 
Kazakhstan, at 13:00 CEST (11:00 UT) this Friday.

The Foton capsule carries a 400 kg European experiment payload with 
experiments in a range of scientific disciplines - including fluid physics, 
biology, crystal growth, radiation exposure and exobiology.

The capsule spends 12 days orbiting the Earth, exposing the experiments to 
microgravity and, in the case of a handful of experiments also exposing them 
to the harsh environment of open space, before re-entering the atmosphere 
and landing in the border zone between Russia and Kazakhstan.
During the flight the European experiments and equipment are monitored by 
ESA’s Operations Team at the Payload Operations Centre based at Esrange near 
Kiruna, Sweden. They are responsible for receiving, evaluating and 
disseminating scientific data generated by European payloads on Foton. The 
team also receive support from two ground stations in Canada.

Later in the mission, students from all over Europe will wait with bated 
breath for the moment when their Young Engineers Experiment (YES2) is 
deployed from the Foton capsule. On 25 September, a small re-entry capsule 
will be released from the end of a 30 kilometre tether to demonstrate the 
possibility of returning small payloads to Earth at a fraction of the cost 
of current methods.

Some 450 students have contributed to the experiment which, if successful, 
will be the first proof that 'space mail' can be sent using a relatively 
simple and cheap mechanism. Simple and cheap enough for example to send 
experiments from the International Space Station down to scientists on Earth

++++++++++++++++++
For those in Europe coverage is also available direct by satellite

Satellite parameters:

Eutelsat W2 at 16 deg East, Transponder F6, vertical, (SCPC, 4:2:0) 
F=12676.83 MHz, SR = 5.632 Ms/s, FEC = 3/4

It is not clear when these transmissions  actually will start but the have 
30 mins of background material ready so maybe all of that will be before the 
launch

73

Graham G3VZV 

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